San Francisco – Bonhams is very pleased to announce the consignment of a very rare and historically significant motorcycle: the 1949 Indian-Vincent Factory Prototype.
In 1948 the manager of Indian Motorcycles, Ralph Rogers, and the director of Vincent HRD, Philip Vincent, agreed on a joint venture to manufacture and sell a hybridization of their machines to the American market. Two prototypes were created as a result: the better known Vindian – essentially an Indian Chief with Vincent motor, and the Indian-Vincent – essentially a Vincent Rapide with an Indian frame.
Both machines were one-off designs created at Vincent's factory in Stevenage, England from two Chiefs shipped over from Indian's Springfield, Massachusetts factory. Unfortunately, neither prototype was put into production before Indian's demise just a few years later.
The singular Indian-Vincent combined the exceptionally fast and desirable Series C Rapide engine and components with Indian frame and electrics, and employed several distinctions aimed at US riders, such as high handlebars, additional lights, crashbars and converted left-side gearshift. The prototype was personally taken by Phil Vincent later that year to Australia, where it has remained most its life.
Now this genuine, fully VOC-documented, one-of-one motorcycle representing two of the greatest names in motorcycling history will be offered for the first time at public auction. It carries an estimate of $250,000-$300,000.
Just as newsworthy, the Indian-Vincent is one of what is quite possibly a record number of motorcycles from the Vincent marque to be offered in one sale. In all, 16 Vincents have been consigned with the following models of various vintage and specification represented: Comet, Rapide, Black Shadow, Black Prince and Black Knight.
"It's exciting to have so many examples in one auction," says Nick Smith, Bonhams' US Head of Motorcycles. "Vincent is one of the most respected and sought after names in the world of collectors' motorcycles and to have this unprecedented assembly – not to mention being selected to represent the legendary prototype – is just phenomenal. It's an incredible opportunity for Vincent aficionados."
Bonhams' seventh annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction will take place Thursday, January 26th at the Rio Hotel & Casino. For more information, visit bonhams.com/vegas.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com